Djokovic has won the pair's last two meetings in the 2007 Vienna final and 2008 ATP Masters Series Indian Wells quarterfinals. Wawrinka has two wins in five meetings over Djokovic, the last of which came at 2006 Vienna. Final Head-to-Head
World No. 3 Djokovic will attempt to clinch his third title of the year and fourth ATP Masters Series shield on Sunday, following Czech Radek Stepanek's decision to retire due to heat exhaustion at the start of the second set of their semifinal clash at the Foro Italico.
Djokovic was leading 6-0, 1-0 after 35 minutes, when 29-year-old Stepanek - who beat ATP World No. 1 Roger Federer on Friday - retired at the change of ends. Djokovic had won 24 of 31 points in the 22-minute first set, before Stepanek took a 10-minute break before the start of the second set.
The 20-year-old Djokovic, who captured his maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January (d. Tsonga) and ATP Masters Series Indian Wells in March (d. Fish), improves to 24-5 on the season.
In the first semifinal, Wawrinka booked his place in the final when sixth-seeded American Andy Roddick (pictured) retired with a left-sided back injury at the start of the fourth game of the first set. Wawrinka was leading 3-0 in the pair's first career meeting, when 2002 semifinalist Roddick retired after 15 minutes of play. Roddick had won just four of 17 points.
The 22-year-old Wawrinka is the first unseeded player to advance to the ATP Masters Series final since Felix Mantilla, who beat Federer in the 2003 final. He will now break into the Top 10 at No. 10 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on Monday. Two Swiss players have never ranked in the Top 10 at the same time in the history of the ATP Rankings (since 1973).
The St. Barthelemy resident improves to 22-9 (9-2 on clay) this year and take his place in his sixth career ATP final. In January, Wawrinka reached the Doha final (l. to Murray).
Roddick, who has clinched 2008 ATP titles at San Jose (d Stepanek) and Dubai (d Lopez), drops to 24-5 on the season. The 25-year-old lost to Tommy Haas in the 2002 Rome semifinals.